NPS Program Logo

Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Control Program

Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution does not originate from regulated point sources and comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution occurs when rainfall flows off the land, roads, buildings, and other features of the landscape. This diffuse runoff carries pollutants into drainage ditches, lakes, rivers, wetlands, bays, and aquifers. The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires States to develop a program to protect the quality of water resources from the adverse effects of NPS water pollution. The NPS Program aims to minimize NPS pollution from land use activities in agriculture, urban development, forestry, recreational boating and marinas, hydromodification and wetlands. The NPS Program goal is to achieve water quality goals and maintain beneficial uses.

Protecting our water resources from the impacts of NPS pollution is a complex challenge. Polluted runoff from agriculture, urban development, forestry, recreational boating and marinas, hydromodification and wetlands activities is the leading cause of water pollution in waters in California. The NPS Program Plan addresses California's NPS pollution by assessing the State's NPS pollution problems/causes and implementing management programs.

Clean Water Act (CWA) 319 program is an annual federally funded NPS control program that is focused on controlling activities that impair beneficial uses and on limiting pollutant effects caused by those activities.

Interagency coordination is required to effectively implement the California NPS Program, in part because the program goals are based upon the regulatory authorities of 28 state agencies. To this end, interagency coordination is needed to help set statewide objectives for the most critical NPS issues.

Reports provide a mechanism to measure and evaluate what the NPS Program is doing and how the environment is responding to our actions. Reporting is part of our overall effort towards developing as performance-based organizations. Types of reports produced by the NPS Program include annual initiatives report, accomplishment report, SP-12, and WQ-10 success stories.

Environmental education increases public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues or problems. In addition, environmental education and outreach provides the public with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions.